Top 7 Best Aquatic Plants for Turtles

Looking for the best aquatic plants for turtles? Keep reading!

Aquatic plants are very important for the environment of aquariums, especially when they are used to keep the turtles in captivity. These plants provide the turtles with food and shelter. Turtles like to eat the leaves and stems of aquatic plants.

They can also help them to feel a bit of greenery in their aquarium. Mostly, aquatic plants are grown in ponds or tanks. These plants can be used as a decoration in the tank.

But before we talk about the best aquatic plants for turtles, we should know the differences between aquatic plants and algae. Aquatic plants are plants that grow in water. The most common ones are eelgrass, duckweed, water lettuce, and water hyacinth.

Algae is a diverse group of aquatic organisms that can conduct photosynthesis. They grow naturally in water. They can also be seen in almost every aquarium.

Best Aquatic Plants for Turtles:

1. Fairy Moss (Azolla)

Fairy moss is one of the best aquatic plants for turtles. This is an excellent plant to keep in a tank. It is also a favorite food of many turtles, especially red-eared sliders.

It is a hardy aquatic fern that not only looks great in your tank but is also something turtles will enjoy munching on. Fairy moss is a short-stemmed, heterosporous with tiny fronds that are green to reddish and overlap each other. It is also known as mosquito fern as it can be used to control mosquito larvae.

2. Java Fern

 Java ferns are popular aquatic plants that are great for beginners. These plants can grow up to 6-13 inches tall and are tough plants. They don’t need substrate and can be anchored with a rock or driftwood.

Java plants are capable of growing in low light. Turtles don’t find it very appealing, so you don’t have to worry about replacing it regularly. It can live for a long time and has attractive leathery green leaves.

3. Water hyacinths

Water hyacinths are excellent aquatic plants for turtles. They are especially good for growing in outdoor turtle tubs. They have an interesting shape and they can grow up to about three feet tall.

Their leaves are thick, green, and waxy with beautiful purple flowers when it blooms. They grow best in full sun with warm temperatures. They can grow very quickly, so you may need to control their growth if they become out of hand.

Water hyacinths can be a beautiful addition to your pond, especially if you have turtles in them. Once established, they are easy to maintain.

What are the three types of aquatic plants

4. Anubias

Anubias is a popular plant that is colorful and can be a great addition to your aquarium. Anubias have green leaves that are sturdy and make for a beautiful addition to your tank. Anubias are easy to grow and come in many different varieties that will look great in your tank.

Anubias can even flower underwater. One of the best options for turtles is Anubias barteri.

5. Water lettuce (Lemna)

This is another good aquatic plant for turtles. It is a fast-growing plant that grows best in medium light. The leaves are large and green.

They are usually found in the wild. It has a cabbage-like appearance and makes a lovely addition to your turtle habitat. It is also a favorite food of many aquatic animals. They can grow quite big so they do best in ponds or large tanks.

6. Sedges

Sedges are some of the best aquatic plants for turtles. They provide shelter and shade in your turtle’s enclosure.  They are usually found in ponds and lakes.

These grass-like perennials are safe for turtles to each and add a beautiful touch to their habitat. They can grow on land or in shallow water.

7. Hydrocharis morsus-ranae

This is another good aquatic plant for turtles. It is a floating perennial aquatic plant. Also known as frog-bit, Hydrocharis morsus-range has green heart-shaped leaves and white flowers.

The roots of the Hydrocharis morsus-ranae does best in full sun and are particularly great for growing in ponds.  Many turtles will enjoy eating Hydrocharis morsus-ranae.

There are many other aquatic plants for turtles that you can use. Some of the most important plants include water hyacinth, water lily, and water lettuce.

In Summary: Best Aquatic Plants for Turtles

If you are just starting, we suggest you get one or two of the best aquatic plants for turtles listed above.  If you want to be the best aquatic turtle keeper, you need to start with the basics of growing one or two plants.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the three types of aquatic plants?

There are three main categories of aquatic plants. They are submerged, emergent, and free floating.

Do turtles like aquatic plants?

Turtles eat a variety of foods, but freshwater turtle diets typically include aquatic plants. Aquatic plants can also provide shade and shelter for turtles.

How can I grow aquarium plants without CO2?

Choose plants that are strong, healthy and free of algae. Fertilise your plants regularly and avoid providing too much light.

How do you plant aquatic plants in a fish tank?

Some types of aquatic plants can be grown from seed but most people buy fully grown plants. The seeds should be planted on the surface of the aquarium substrate. Aquatic plants that are not rooted can be placed directly into the aquarium. To prevent algae from growing on the plants, remove the plants from the aquarium every few weeks to gently clean.